WICHITA FALL (KFDX/KJTL) — There are 302 Rural Health Clinics in Texas, and the oldest one is right here in Texoma. Olney Hamilton Hospital has served residents in Olney and surrounding areas for more than a century, but for one woman, this dedication was a lot more personal.
While it may seem peculiar for such a landmark hospital to be in a town of 3,000 residents, but for those who live there, the community is what continues to keep the hospital going strong.
“The community is the internal part that keeps the hospital going. We’re a tax district, so we cover the Newcastle and Olney school districts and the community comes together when we have a need or when we have a benefit or when we have a blood drive. The people are what make sit happen,” board chairman Dale Lovett said.
Olney Hamilton Hospital was founded by George Hamilton back in 1908 after Hamilton’s previous two home hospitals grew too small. Olney residents and even Hamilton’s family gathered for a dedication ceremony in honor of the hospitals 111th birthday.
“Dad took me every place and I knew where everything was and everybody knew who I was and I knew them,” founder’s daughter Kathrine Hamilton—Atchley said.
Atchley has been a vibrant and active part of the Olney Hamilton Hospital her whole life so during the dedication ceremony, she was presented with a dream come true: memory garden.
“We wanted to celebrate her legacy in a special way. So she had a dream to have a garden over there and we just made that garden move forward a lot faster than she had planned,” Lovett said.
Hamilton lives across the street from the hospital and said she had her suspicions that something was being built. She just didn’t know what was being built.
“I did see that but I didn’t ask any questions. My son told me, he said now just be quiet don’t ask questions. So, I tried to behave,” Atchley said.
A dream come true that will now serve as a reminder of all good things this hospital has done for 111 years and counting.
One reason Atchley and Lovett both said plays a big part in the longevity of this hospital is the continuous support from the community and surrounding communities.